Cagayan Gov says time to identify relocation sites

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 3) — The governor of Cagayan said relocation sites for people in communities hit by typhoons should be identified by local government units as evacuations always happen in those areas.

Governor Manuel Mamba said they have prepositioned personnel and other assets in anticipation of storms that could pass their province, adding that in a way they are now used to such incidents.

However, he said more must be done to protect people, including providing better evacuation centers and relocation sites.

"Yung mga LGU din po, siguro it's now time na they should also...mag-identify na rin ng relocation sites. Kasi perennial po na nagkakaroon po kami ng forced evacuation, preemptive evacuation in areas na talaganing palaging inaabot pa rin ng mga tubig," he said.

[Translation: The LGUs should maybe, now is the time to identify relocation sites because we always have forced evacuations, preemptive evacuations in areas that are always hit by floods.]

Mamba said this must be done until a permanent solution is made.

"Kailangan din talaga yung long-term and medium-term plan on the construction of evacuation nasa tamang lugar. Kasi some of our evacuation centers po hindi na magamit noong lumaki nang lumaki yung mga tubig. Kaya dapat piliin kung saan ilalagay ang mga iito," he added.

[Translation: Long-term and medium-term plans on the construction of evacuation centers are really needed, and these should be at the right places. Because there are some evacuation sites that cannot be used anymore once the floodwaters rise. So, where these are located should be carefully planned.]

CNN Philippines reached out to Governor Mamba to ask how many barangays or people would be affected. He replied, "Sa Cagayan, marami po."

[Translation: There are many in Cagayan.]

Cagayan was one of the provinces most affected by Typhoon Ulysses, with at least nine deaths due to the flooding.

In the aftermath of 'Ulysses,' Magat Dam's discharge was blamed for the devastating floods in Cagayan, the worst in the province's recent history, according to local officials. Floodwaters reached over 13 meters high in some areas, leaving thousands of people stranded on rooftops and desperate for rescue.

Just last week. some areas were flooded again due to rains and water discharge from Magat Dam.